UPDATED 7:33 AM EDT, April 15, 2013 | BARBARA ORTUTA
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at revamping immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.
Zuckerberg announced the formation of Fwd.us (pronounced "forward us") in an op-ed article in The Washington Post late Wednesday night. In it, he said the U.S. needs a new approach to these issues if it is to get ahead economically. This includes offering a path to citizenship for the 11 million or so immigrants who now live in the U.S. illegally.
"We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," Zuckerberg wrote. "And it's a policy unfit for today's world."
Zuckerberg, whose great-grandparents were immigrants, said he wants "comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born."
The move comes at an opportune time. Zuckerberg's goals echo a sweeping immigration bill that a bipartisan Senate group is expected to roll out in the coming days.
Companies such as Microsoft and Google, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been pushing to make it easier for highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs to work in the U.S. Although Fwd.us supports increasing the number of visas available to these workers, its goals are broader.
Zuckerberg also called for higher standards and accountability in schools and increased focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math. Today's knowledge and ideas-based economy, the 28-year-old Harvard dropout wrote, is very different from the economy of the 20th century that was based on natural resources, industrial machines and labor.
Fwd.us, he said, was created to "to build the knowledge economy the United States needs to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment."
Also backing the group are tech leaders such as LinkedIn Corp. CEO Reid Hoffman and venture capitalists John Doerr and Jim Breyer, as well as Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox, who was Facebook Inc.'s first female engineer. Joe Green, founder of Causes.com, a social network for community organizing, serves as the group's president and founder.
Major financial contributors include Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt, Netflix Inc. CEO Reed Hastings, Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer, SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, Zynga Inc. CEO Mark Pincus and former Groupon Inc. CEO Andrew Mason.
Fwd.us declined to disclose how much money Zuckerberg and other supporters have contributed to the group.
Last year, Zuckerberg donated 18 million Facebook shares, worth close to $500 million at the time, to a Silicon Valley charity with the aim of funding health and education issues. And he pledged $100 million in Facebook stock to Newark, N.J., public schools in 2010, before his company went public in May 2012.
Zuckerberg is not the only high-ranking Facebook executive to use his role to advance social causes. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg launched LeanIn.org, a nonprofit aimed at arming women with the tools and guidance they need to keep moving forward in the workforce.
The formation of Zuckerberg's group was reported by The Associated Press and other outlets last month.
Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., is a member of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook's board of directors.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama learned in his first term that he couldn't change Washington from the inside, saying in the heat of his re-election race: "You can only change it from the outside." Months later, his former White House aides and campaign advisers are embracing Obama's words as a call to action.
He once vowed to reduce the influence of money in politics, but now Obama has created a new network that will increase money's sway
What a difference an election can make. Barack Obama, whose election victory and inauguration four years ago was fueled by the promise of change, transparency and the end of big money politics, ushers in his second inauguration with quite a bit of change. As in money from companies, labor unions and millionaire donors.
Obama may have avoided the spectacle of big money politics at his first inauguration, but this time around he's embracing it.
After Barack Obama takes the oath of office for a second White House term next month, he’ll be surrounded by pomp, circumstance and celebration largely bought and paid for by the very special interests he once vowed to disenfranchise from Washington politics.
Obama’s decision to accept unlimited-sized corporate donations for his second inauguration is a stark departure from his first celebration four years ago, when he banned such contributions and limited individual donors to $50,000 each.
Obama dismays campaign reformers, reverses course and embraces corporate bucks for his inauguration
Unlike President Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney won't reveal his complete list of big fund-raisers known as bundlers but we're finally getting a glimpse into how many of his big money players work as Washington lobbyists.
Washington lobbyists raised at least $9 million for Romney in last three months alone
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plan a campaign fundraiser for him Thursday in Hong Kong, where U.S. business interests intersect with China's growing influence as a world financial superpower.
Republican Mitt Romney looks to gather campaign cash from ex-pats in Hong Kong, the business gateway to China
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has raised at least $100 million in August for the third consecutive month, building upon a fundraising prowess that has allowed him to outraise President Barack Obama so far this summer, The Associated Press has learned.
The early numbers, which include money raised by the national Republican Party, will be publicly released next week. They were described by two people familiar with the figures who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share internal campaign matters.
Romney's fund-raising juggernaut pulled in another $100 million in August, putting pressure on Obama this fall
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Away from the televised political speeches and Mitt Romney's nomination at the Republican National Convention, energy, technology, transportation companies and others are hosting lavish parties for Republican leaders, politicians and Romney's top donors.
Big money still speaks big with parties, perks at Republican National Convention in Tampa.